Lord Nelson Medal for London Auction

Lord Nelson remains the most iconic figure in British naval history, remembered for his daring victories at the Battles of Cape St Vincent, the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar and for his romance with Emma Hamilton. But in 1900, when a thief stole many of Nelson’s most personal relics from the Painted Hall at Greenwich, the nation was robbed of precious links to the “Immortal Hero”, including his naval gold medals, watch and sword hilts.

However, the silver, gold and enamel Breast Star of the Order of the Bath – Nelson’s first honour, which he maintained was the most important of all to him – was not among the thief’s haul. Following the Admiral’s death in 1805 his orders and titles were inherited by his brother, the Rev William Nelson. In 1814, William Nelson sent the original Bath Star to Nelson’s great friend and confidant Admiral Sir Richard Goodwin Keats. Depicted in numerous paintings and sculptures including the statue on Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, the Star is now being offered for sale anonymously by a direct descendant of Admiral Keats and has been consigned to auction from overseas.

Never before publicly displayed, the Star is to be offered for sale by specialist London auctioneers Morton & Eden on Friday October 22, fittingly the day after Trafalgar Day. It is estimated to fetch £300,000-500,000 but with competition, the eventual selling price could well be higher.

Said auctioneer James Morton: “This is an exceptionally important piece of Nelson memorabilia which is even more remarkable having been rediscovered more than 200 years after the Admiral’s death at the Battle of Trafalgar. We are privileged to have been entrusted with the task of offering it.”

At Morton & Eden: James Morton, Morton & Eden Ltd, 45 Maddox Street, London W1S 2PE. Tel: +44 (0)20 7493 5344. Fax: +44 (0)20 7495 6325.
Email: [email protected]

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